Collaborative Healthcare

As an Endocrinologist, Dr. Antoine explains how more than a third of his patients come in having already diagnosed themselves, and only in need of a confirmation and an official prescription. He wonders how many others browse the internet, self diagnose, and do not visit a specialist, and how often misdiagnosis causes serious repercussions. The age of information has virtually placed all knowledge known to mankind at the palms of hands of all people, and with so much information comes misinformation. Collaborative healthcare is a care philosophy that aims to empower patients by providing them with the tools necessary to be well informed of their condition and actively involved in their healthcare experience.

Patients and healthcare providers partnering up


Collaborative healthcare is not an option healthcare providers can choose whether to adopt or not anymore. It is an emerging paradigm through which patients gain more control over decisions and actions affecting their health. It is a two-way engagement that does not mean disempowering heatlhcare providers, but on the contrary, it is only possible through regular medical feedback and it significantly enhances treatment outcomes.

Collaborative healthcare increases trust and builds a partnership between patients and healthcare providers. It increases the patients’ responsibility for their own health while improving compliance. Moreover, collaborative healthcare creates a transparent, informative, and satisfactory healthcare experience that helps patients live better, healthier, and healthcare providers retain their satisfied patients.


The tools necessary to achieve a patient-doctor collaborative relationship must achieve two things:
– Patients acquiring enough knowledge on a regular basis to engage their healthcare providers.
– A facilitating environemnet/platform.

trakMD, as a patient engagement platform highly active in Lebanon, has adopted the collaborative healthcare philosphy in empowering patients by providing both patients and healthcare providers with a multitude of smart and automated tools to build participatory partnerships.

For that purpose, trakMD worked closely with healthcare providers and patients, utilizing their feedback to optimize its patient engagement tools. As a result, a patient’s healthcare experience on trakMD is now more comprehensive and empowering than ever. In addition to the convenience of finding and booking doctor appointments 24/7 and receiving automated appointment reminders, patients are equipped with three other tools dedicated to empowering them:

Personal Health Records

Upon creating an account on trakMD, users get a digital personal health record (PHR) which they can enrich with their health history, vaccinations, measurements, and examination results as attachments. Patients assume complete ownership of their PHR, and have the luxury of choosing whether, while booking appointments, healthcare providers can have access to their PHR or not. Access can even be specified as either “view only” or “view & edit”, and with the latter, healthcare providers may update information available in the PHR. Sharing the PHR with healthcare providers helps improve medical outcomes by providing a much needed health history that would prove to be much more trustworthy than in-visit inquiries.

Preventive Reminders

Recommendations for cyclical checkups and examinations are rarely adhered, and the main reason is failure to track when an. trakMD delivers the cyclical reminders module that helps automate the process and personalize it for every patient indefinitely. Predefined templates are selected for patients once, and will keep recurring unless assigned otherwise. By providing patients with the knowledge and assistance to make decisions that can improve their health, they are empowered by their own healthcare providers in a perfect example of how a patient-doctor partnership can be satisfactory for both.

Patient Education

trakMD’s patient education module is the basic building block of a patient-doctor collaborative healthcare experience. By assigning patients to different groups based on their health conditions or other criteria, healthcare providers share knoweldge personalized to the patients’ needs. It is a process that doesn’t and shouldn’t stop, and aims to make patients co-responsible and actively engaged in their healthcare experience.

The nature of collaborations between healthcare providers and patients differs from a specialty to another. The way psychologists in Lebanon would engage their patients is completely different to how a dentist would. Dermatologists, for a example, may assign cyclical reminders relevant to their specialty and share different educational material with different patient groups( ‘fillers’ group, ‘botox’ group, ‘skin diseases’ group).

trakMD’s Healthbook: The First Personalized Healthcare-focused Social Medium

When trakMD was launched, it was never about an online appointment booking platform that patients can find and book doctors with, albeit a much needed tool for better accessibility to healthcare professionals. The two seasoned experts in the healthcare industry had, in fact, set their sights on building a comprehensive platform that serves as the go-to solution for everything healthcare, be it for patients or healthcare providers. 

The Evolution

The journey began with connecting patients and healthcare providers of all specialties through an online booking platform. Patients download trakMD’s free android or ios mobile application, search for a provider by specialty, location, and availability, and book their appointments instantly with the click of a button. On the other hand, trakMD presented healthcare providers with an appointment management solution that captures live schedule availabilities and places it at the palms of the patients’ hands, all while automating appointment reminders which has helped reduce no-shows significantly. The next step was implementing a personal health record for patients, of which they assume full ownership and decide whether to share it with a provider or not upon booking an appointment. As for healthcare providers, patient engagement features were gradually added, namely the preventive health reminders and the patient education module. Patient engagement has proved to be a key element in increasing patient retention and callbacks, in addition to empowering patients by placing them at the center of their healthcare experiences.

The Age of Misinformation

UAE authoritiese are teaming up with the Ministry of Interior, the UAE’s media authorities, and different departments in an effort to limit incidents caused by unauthorized health advice on the internet. The problem with medical misinformation, whether in the form of health tips or online diagnosis and treatment plans, is that it easily accessible by the public population and efforts to “regulate” on a national scale will prove futile in the face of thousands of international online websites and social media pages. The problem also extends to what may be recognized as “trustworthy”, where an article or a symptom checker can leave much space for individuals to make wrong assumptions, and possibly act upon it.


As healthcare providers utilize trakMD to fully manage their practices, and patients have the tools for an accessible and satisfactory healthcare experience, trakMD’s Healthbook follows naturally as the conclusive bridge to create a collaborative patient/doctor relationship that eliminates the risks of misinformation along the way.

The majority of healthcare providers and medical enterprises have established an online presence across the different social media platforms, and have heavily invested in reaching out and increasing patient volume. The nature of the social media platforms places what may be meant to deliver a serious message on a timeline populated with inconsequential posts (selfies, rumors, personal thoughts..etc). The Healthbook allows them to connect and reach out to users in a healthcare-only social medium that maximizes the efficiency of their submissions. Patients, on the other hand, are insulated from misinformation and connected with peers interested in the same health topics.

Healthcare providers share their posts via articles, infographics, or videos seamlessly from their trakMD dashboard, and entries are automatically tagged with their specialties and keywords that fall under specific health topics. Patients enjoy a personalized timeline populated with entries from healthcare providers they follow and other providers sharing posts about health topics they are subscribed to. Patients are also able to interact with providers by “Thanking” through a dedicated button under each entry, replying with inquiries which will be transferred to a dedicated Q&A section and automatically tagged for providers interested in providing feedback, and sharing posts across other social media platforms.

The Healthbook is the epitome of the participatory healthcare experience trakMD aims to promote, where patients are empowered to take a more active role in their healthcare journey.

Want Your Kids to Have Healthy Vision? Make Sure They Have an Annual Eye Exam

In the last half of the 20th century, the United States made impressive strides in ensuring the health of our children. Breakthrough medical research resulted in vaccines for many childhood diseases. Public health programs educated parents about the importance of these vaccines and state and city laws went into effect requiring immunizations for children to enter school. The good news is that our kids now are much healthier, and diseases such as polio and diphtheria, which once plagued children, have essentially been eradicated.

However, we still have strides to make in improving one of our children’s most basic needs — eye health.

Children approaching school age should begin having an annual eye exam by a licensed eye care professional just as they have regular physical and dental check-ups. Parents can’t rely on the vision screenings given in schools or even in pediatricians’ offices to really know what eye problems their children may have. After all, kids don’t know if their vision is off, because it’s all they’ve ever seen.

While childhood diseases of the body — measles, mumps, etc. — are well known, impairments affecting the eyes are less so. Case in point is amblyopia. Are you aware of it? Or how it could affect your child?

Amblyopia is a vision impairment that results from abnormal visual development in infancy or early childhood and can result in partial or complete loss of sight in the affected eye. What medical research has shown is that the brain favors one eye while not stimulating, or even ignoring, the other — which is why the condition is often incorrectly referred to as lazy eye. Amblyopia is the leading cause of monocular blindness in children.

The sad statistic is that amblyopia affects up to 5 percent of the population. If not detected and treated within a specific period of childhood, usually by age 7, it can lead to permanent vision loss. Common treatments are surgical correction of the eye muscle imbalance, eyeglasses or contact lenses, LASIK surgery and the throw-back approach of an eye patch over the dominant eye to force the weaker one to improve.

A research study for the Vision Council of America featured on the Vision Impact Institute website delved into the question of the better method for screening children in the years when they are most vulnerable to amblyopia — right before starting their first year of school.

It compared two methods:

— Comprehensive eye exams conducted by optometrists or ophthalmologists and used to diagnose vision problems

— Vision screenings performed by nurses, pediatricians or non-medical volunteers and used to identify children at-risk for vision issues.

The study found that the comprehensive eye exams would result in 51 percent more children receiving successful treatment for amblyopia by age 10, ultimately resulting in successfully treating 33,000 more children.

Yes, it’s more costly to provide universal access to eye exams for all American school children. Vision screenings are less expensive but not as effective, according to the Vision Council of America study.

Kentucky set the standard for child vision care when it became the first state to enact a law requiring all entering public school or preschool to have a comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Two additional states, Missouri and Illinois also adopted these high standards. And this month, the Every Student Succeeds Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. This provides block grants to states, which will help non-profit vision organizations work directly with school districts to benefit students in need.

Regardless of where we live, it remains the responsibility of parents to take care of their children’s eyes. The comprehensive eye exam by a licensed eye care professional remains the best option for doing all that we can to ensure the vision health of our children. Parents should make sure their kids see the eye doctor annually, just as they do for the pediatrician and dentist.

By Maureen Cavanagh


TrakMD: The Rise of Digitized Healthcare in Lebanon

Grow, differentiate, and show case your practice

Using innovation and technology to address real problems and frustrations, TrakMD provides a better healthcare experience for you, your practice and your patients.

Hesitant about online booking?

Healthcare online booking solutions are on a rise and it is estimated that more than 600 million appointments have been booked using online appointment systems around the world in 2015. The world has been steadily shifting towards digital solutions in every aspect of our professional lives.

Why doctors join TrakMD?

Attract new patients, and retain existing ones

Wow patients with a premium service, and improve patient access and engagement

Grow online presence and strengthen reputation

TrakMD Key Features

TrakMD can fully digitize your practice by offering you a very user friendly practice management system. With no software to download or hardware to manage, your secure cloud-based practice management system, can be accessed whenever and wherever you want. Using your mobile or Tab, you can easily manage your clinic on the go.

The followings are some of key features of TrakMD for doctors:

  • Custom Profile: You can help patients find you easily. Set up your free profile Now! You can promote and customize your online profile with your education, qualification, services, photos, and your clinic availabilities and locations. Your happy patients can add reviews and rating to your TrakMD profile and recommend you to their friends using popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. We help protect your online reputation by verifying all patient reviews placed on your TrakMD
  • Online Booking: Be available 24/7, and let your patients see your availability and book an appointment far easier than before. TrakMD allows you to easily manage your calendar real-time. You control your calendar by opening or closing availability slot, add new appointment, reschedule or cancel appointment, update appointment status, and synch TrakMD Calendar with your native calendar.
  • Patient SMS and Email Notifications/Reminders: Build patient loyalty and let your patients receive automated and effortless SMS and email reminders of appointment bookings and important health checkups. You may also send your patients personalized event messages including birthday or holiday greetings.
  • Patient Database Management: Go paperless, and have your patients record fully digitized.
  • Online Doctor Referral: Establish a doctor referral network and further grow you practice. TrakMD helps you find the right specialist for your patients’ health concerns and write an online referral. Other doctors on TrakMD can find you and send you an online referral note.
  • Patient Portal: Be a more informed decision maker. Upon patient’s permission, you can have access to their Personal Health Record (PHR). You can validate patient health information such as health history, risk factors, Immunization or baby vaccinations, allergy, Vital Signs, health measurements, present illnesses, ongoing medications, and laboratory or imaging reports.
  • Patient Care Plan: Improve patient engagement and compliance to your indicated treatments. You can share with your patients an individualized care plan with medication prescriptions. Your patients can access your indicated care plan anytime on their free TrakMD account on either website or mobile app.
  • Message: Communicate with your patient anytime, anywhere. TrakMD Message allows you to send/receive messages to/from your patients.
  • Invoice & Billing: Make sure you are reimbursed for the work you do with flexible TrakMD invoice and billing solution.
  • Reports & Analytics: Stay on top of your key performance and productivity by having access to a library of TrakMD customizable reports and analytics.

Stringent Security: TrakMD is 100 % HIPPA-compliant. TrakMD applies international data security standards to ensure your clinic and patient data are protected with highest and most stringent security, and that only you can access to your data. Additionally, TrakMD server is hosted with HIPAA compliant VPN inside Cloud with multiple data backups.

24/7, Extraordinary Support: we care about you and want to make sure you are a happy client. TrakMD is a very user friendly system with which you may experience the shortest learning curve. Your account can be set up in few minutes and you can start working on it and receive patient appointments immediately. Our support specialist team can be either at your clinic or using online video conferencing to make sure you and your staff are well trained up. 24/7 support services are also available at your disposal.


Online Profile, Free!

  • Visibility to your existing and new patients
  • Impressive online Profile
  • Profile photo
  • Professional Show Case
  • Verified Patient Reviews and Rating
  • Clinic address with map assisted Location
  • Appointment availability display
  • Let your patients like and share your profile on social media

Online Booking, in addition to the Online Profile package, you have the following features:

  • Let your existing and new patients find you and book your online appointment
  • Free Apple and Android Mobile App
  • Full Patient Appointment System with customized and on the go scheduler
  • Patient SMS and Email Notifications/Reminders
  • Patient Database Management
  • Online Doctor Referral
  • Patient Portal
  • Patient Care Plan
  • Message
  • Appointment Related Reports and Analytics
  • 24/7 Extraordinary Support

Practice Management System, in addition to the Online Booking package, you have the following features:

  • Report and Analytics
  • Invoice and Billing

Additionally, there are customized Packages that cater to the needs of clinics and hospitals of all scales.